23rd Sunday after Pentecost, 12 November, 2017

Old Testament: Amos 5:18-24

Epistle: 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

Gospel: Matthew 25:1-13

The Theme of Today’s Liturgy

“Wake, awake, for night is flying!”  The urgent plea that opens Philip Nicolai’s beautiful hymn points us to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, who “will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God” (Epistle).  Those who have already fallen asleep in the Lord, meaning those who have already died, will be awoken in the resurrection, responding to the Word of Christ who says “Arise!” as He leads His church into His eternal wedding feast (Epistle, Collect).  For those who await the coming of Jesus, we are called to wakefulness here and now, to cast off our sinful inclinations toward spiritual indifference.  Instead, we go to meet the Bridegroom with the bright lamps of our faith showing the way, faith which was given to us in our Baptism and nurtured through the Word and Holy Communion, with the open-eyed vigilance of the hopeful church (Gospel).

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